Karl Henkel and David Shepardson| The Detroit News

Hiring binge is the biggest for Ford in more than a decade

Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co., which shed white-collar workers during the industry downturn, plan to hire more than 3,000 salaried workers this year.

Ford said its intention to hire 2,200 salaried workers in the U.S. this year includes a “significant number” in southeast Michigan. And General Motors Co. says it will add about 1,000 high-tech jobs in suburban Atlanta.

Ford said today it will add white-collar employees in product development, information technology and manufacturing, and as interns. The 2,200 hires would represent Ford’s largest single-year increase of salaried workers in more than a decade.

“As we expand our product lineup of fuel-efficient vehicles, we need more people in critical areas — such as in a range of engineering activities, vehicle production, computer software and other IT functions,” Ford’s President of the Americas Joe Hinrichs said in a statement.

Ford has about 28,400 salaried workers throughout North America, most of them in the United States. That’s 10,000 fewer than it had in 2006. The number of Ford salaried workers bottomed out around 25,000 in 2009, a company spokesman said, and has steadily risen since then.

Ford last year added about 8,100 hourly and salaried jobs in the U.S., including 1,000 jobs it moved from other countries.

The Dearborn-based automaker said there is no planned cadence to the hirings, in terms of locations and dates; they will happen sporadically throughout 2013.

Applicants can find potential jobs by following a special Ford Twitter account (@FordCareers); “liking” Ford’s Career Facebook page (search “FordMotorCompanyCareers”); or visiting www.careers.ford.com.

The automaker says it will rely heavily on social media to recruit potential employees, and is ramping up efforts to hire military veterans. It has used similar social media outreaches to market vehicles and improve customer service.

Ford’s hiring comes in addition to 2,350 hourly jobs that Ford plans to add in southeast Michigan this year; most of those jobs will be at the Flat Rock Assembly Plant, which is undergoing a renovation.

Meanwhile, GM said its new Information Technology Innovation Center in Georgia will employ software developers, project managers, database experts, business analysts and other IT professionals.

“Locating this center in Atlanta makes good business sense,” said GM Chief Information Officer Randy Mott. “We can draw from a deep pool of high-tech expertise through the surrounding colleges, universities and talent residing in the area.”

GM already has hired more than 700 information technology employees to work at the Innovation Centers in Austin, Texas, and Warren in Macomb County. GM plans to hire up to 1,500 for the center at its Warren Tech Center over the next four years.

Mott is leading a rebalancing of information technology at GM under which the majority of information technology work will be done by GM employees instead of being outsourced, which has been the GM model for most of the last three decades.

“We look to the Innovation Centers to design and deliver IT that drives down the cost of ongoing operations while continuously increasing the level and speed at which innovative products and services are available to GM customers,” Mott said.

GM said the location of the fourth site will be announced later, but said it is looking for “geographic diversity” in the offices.


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